Work on Landsat 9 Has Begun
Close on the heels of a recent report by the Landsat Advisory Group concluding that the Landsat program has been wildly successful from the perspective of cost versus benefit, NASA recently announced that it and the US Geological Survey have begun work on the next Landsat platform, Landsat 9. Landsat 9 is expected to launch in 2023, and will carry two instruments: a visible through short wave infrared instrument, and a thermal instrument.
Jeffrey Masek, Landsat 9 Project Scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center observed, "We have recognized for the first time that we’re not just going to do one more, then stop, but that Landsat is actually a long-term monitoring activity, like the weather satellites, that should go on in perpetuity." This is excellent news for those of us with interests in observations of phenomena on the Earth's surface over time!
Landsat 5 TM image collected November 7, 1984 of Atchafalaya Bay at the mouths of the Wax Lake Outlet and the Atchafalaya River in the Mississippi delta plain. Image courtesy of NASA.
Landsat 8 OLI image collected October 25, 2014 of the same area, illustrating the growth of deltas in this area. Image courtesy of NASA. Image courtesy of NASA.